Portrait of Long Ji


42 X 48 Oil on linen

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This is a place in China called Long Ji—which means the dragon’s ridge or spine. It’s in Guilin province out in the country; a farming area where the mountains have been carved into terraced rice fields that are only reachable by long, steep stone stairways. I visited in the winter, and the day I climbed those stairs it was cold, had been raining and then froze. The trees, the ground, the fields were covered with ice and mist rose up between the dragon’s curving back to obscure and reveal the landscape. I stood just back from the stones that curve around the edge of the cliff, looking out into the valley of frosted terraces. It was chilly and quiet, every twig and weed glassed with ice.


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